How Sheffield United are helping to try and make social media more accountable as sport begins to protest
Sheffield United were major drivers behind the decision of England’s leading football clubs to boycott social media this weekend in protest against hate speech and discrimination on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a source involved in helping to coordinate the move has told The Star.
Teams from the Premier League, the English Football League and also the women’s game will refuse to publish anything on their accounts until next week in response to concerns about the responsibility of the companies involved to properly police abuse of their players and officials.
A number of other sportspeople, including cricketers and Formula One drivers, have also pledged their support while numerous media organisations have also decided not to post anything over the weekend.
“Sheffield United have been really active in this,” a major figure involved in the negotiations said last night. “Everyone has got behind it, which is great to see and vitally important too. Sheffield United have been very vocal on this behind the scenes, helping to really push the message along with others.”
United centre-forward David McGoldrick, who has been targeted by internet bigots in the past, has emerged as the public face of Bramall Lane’s campaign to help make those whose technology has effectively become a mouthpiece for spreading hate more accountable.
As well as performing numerous interviews with domestic broadcasters, the former Republic of Ireland international has also appeared on North American television and other overseas outlets ahead of Sunday’s Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur in north London.